Brookfield, WI – Fair is fair, right? When it comes to voting in America, that old saying does not apply. Democrat Tom Palzewicz, running against Scott Fitzgerald for the Fifth Congressional District seat, sees a wide disparity when it comes to voting rights and would like to see the Voting Rights Act become a reality.
Depending on what state a voter tries to cast a ballot, it can be an easy process of mailing in a ballot, going to the polls on election day, or it can be waiting in line for hours or driving across an entire county just to find a dropbox. States have the right to regulate elections, and in Republican states, Palzewicz says that means voter suppression.
“Look what’s happening in Georgia and Texas,” said Palzewicz, who is running uphill in one of the most gerrymandered districts in the country. “White suburban voters have a much easier task voting than people of color. The long waiting lines, sometimes as much as five hours or more, are common. The reason is simple: Republicans don’t want people of color to vote. They will argue that they are all about the constitution and will verbally call out for people to vote, but they suppress the vote in action.
“This used to be a straightforward and relatively easy process. You just went to the polls and voted. Some southern states have a long history of Jim Crow abuses and don’t think that this mentality has gone away.”
The protests against police action against men of color have also been a theme of this election cycle. President Trump told his followers, “Be poll watchers. When you’re out there, watch all the thieving and stealing and robbing they do.” In Wisconsin and across the nation, law enforcement agencies are preparing for the possibility of armed militias disturbing polling locations. Law enforcement agencies across the country, including in Wisconsin, are preparing for the possibility of armed militias attempting to intimidate voters on Election Day.
“The president doesn’t want a smooth election, he wants chaos,” said Palzewicz. “The intimidation by armed thugs is another voter suppression tactic. These militias are willing to try to kidnap Governor Whitmer in Michigan, so disrupting an election is not out of the question. Law enforcement is right to be on top of this possibility.”
Palzewicz cited the April elections and the lack of polling locations in Milwaukee County.
“During a pandemic, where people’s lives were at stake, the Republicans fought with everything they had to make sure Governor Evers could not delay the election for public health reasons. They went to court and won. This is another form of intimidation and voter suppression. That may work for a while, but people are smart. They will see that enough is enough.”
Palzewicz encourages people to vote and to stay patient and calm.